Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Game-Based Entrepreneurship Education: Identifying Enterprising Personality, Motivation and Intentions Amongst Engineering Students

Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Game-Based Entrepreneurship Education: Identifying Enterprising Personality, Motivation and Intentions Amongst Engineering Students

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

'Entrepreneurship' is generally considered a significant factor in the competitive race amongst regions, states and continents (Ács & Szerb, 2007, 2012; Covin & Miles, 1999; Stone & Ranchhod, 2006). The obvious reason that national and EU policymakers have placed such strong emphasis on the promotion of 'entrepreneurship' is that the overall level of 'competitiveness' has been waning in large parts of Europe since the early 21st century, as compared to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) or even Singapore (Grimm, 2009; OECD, 2009; Stone & Ranchhod, 2006; The Gallup Organization, 2009; Volkmann, Tokarski & Grünhagen, 2010). The low level and slow pace in which the fruits of Science, Technology and Engineering (STE) are finding their way to the market is particularly problematic. The proportion of students of STE has been showing a steady declining trend in most European countries. Furthermore, the valorisation of STE through patents, start-ups, spin-off and private funding of fundamental and applied research and related activities is lagging significantly behind the US. This has had many undesirable effects with regard to the realisation of employment, prosperity, innovation and other socio-economic values. In short, the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe is in need of encouragement. One way to provide such encouragement is through the provision of entrepreneurship education in schools and universities (Commission of the European Community, 2006, 2008; European House of Entrepreneurs, 2012; NIRAS consultants, FORA, & ECON, 2008; Rizza & Amorim, 2010; Volkmann et al., 2011).

EVALUATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

The complicated nature of 'entrepreneurship' and the relative utility of 'entrepreneurship education' has been widely addressed in the literature (Brazeal & Herbert, 1999; Fayolle & Kyrö, 2008; Gartner, Shaver, Gatewood & Katz, 1994; Henry, Hill & Leitch, 2005a, 2005b; Holmgren et al., 2004; Kirby, 2004; Kuratko, 2005; Lautenschläger & Haase, 2011; Matlay, 2006; Wilson & Stokes, 2006). Many scholars have argued that entrepreneurship is a personality trait - a combination of personality and talent that can be cultivated and trained, but not easily acquired (Müller & Gappisch, 2005; Roberts, 1989; Stornier, Kline & Goldenberg, 1999). The literature can obviously be contradicted by exceptions, as with highly successful but atypical personalities characterised by a stubborn, uncompromising and anti-social nature. In other words, authenticity and luck play a role as well. A cultivating context, in which entrepreneurs are encouraged and rewarded (and not discouraged), is another contributing factor. This applies to the immediate social-cultural context (e.g. the family, the clan), which can influence the entrepreneurial activities of women, immigrants or other groups, as well as to the wider politicaleconomic context, with regard to regulations, policies and tax regimes (Ács, Audretsch & Strom, 2009).

Most entrepreneurs would argue that entrepreneurship cannot be learnt from books or attending lectures, but only acquired in practice, by doing and by learning from mistakes (Gstraunthaler & Hendry, 2011; Nab, Pilot, Brinkkemper & Berge, 2010; Vincett & Farlow, 2008). On the other hand, entrepreneurship requires a wide range of skills, with excellence in a few. In the 21st century, most skills and forms of excellence are discovered, acquired, cultivated or legitimized in and through formal education and training. In addition, institutions, laws and regulations require entrepreneurs to possess certain basic qualifications before registering or operating their own companies or practicing their professions. Education in entrepreneurship is therefore commonly associated with education in other areas, including business, management, economics, finance and leadership.

For some, entrepreneurship education is merely the 'sum of all business and management courses'. …

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